Can golf courses serve as potential butterfly habitats? 

High on the Hampshire Downs, within an intensively farmed landscape a golf course has become a surprisingly important haven for wildlife.

Corhampton Golf Club in Hampshire.

Corhampton Golf club has created several chalk scrapes for butterflies following recommendations of Clive Wood, the Chair of Butterfly Conservation’s Hampshire and Isle of Wight branch. The improvements led the club to winning the Syngenta Operation Pollinator Award 2019.

Corhampton Golf Club took full advantage of the naturally alkaline chalk soils they have around their course to create new and species rich flower meadows.
These type of grasslands will and help increase in population a wide range of invertebrates to the area that are normally considered rare.
The Corhampton teamhave takenvery bold and decisive measures toremovethe top nutrient rich soil and reach the bare chalkbelow, before covering with a thinlayer of topsoil and allowing torecolonise naturallywith native plant species.

Clive believes that Corhampton could host breeding populations of many butterflies, moths and other pollinators. In particular, it has the potential to be colonised by three High Priority species of conservation concern;

The small blue butterfly

The white admiral butterfly

And the Striped lychnis moth.

The course has also introduced small areas of lightly managed or unmanaged ground, often between, often between a green and a tee which are ideal for wildflowers such as cuckoo flower and garlic mustard, the main caterpillar food plants of the orange-tip butterfly.

Wouldn’t it be an awesome idea if more golf courses would also serve as butterfly habitats!!


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